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Marchionne details Chrysler's future products

Thu, 20 Jan 2011

The real product news from Chrysler wasn't on the stand at the Detroit auto show; it came from the mouth of CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Marchionne ditched the standard industry maxim of not discussing future products during a series of interviews during the Detroit show.

Here's a roundup of the details:

-- The replacement for the Dodge Caliber arrives late this year.

-- Chrysler will revive the luxurious Jeep Grand Wagoneer nameplate in January 2013. The seven-seat SUV will use the platform that underpins the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango.

-- A pickup version of the Jeep Wrangler could be in the works. Marchionne wouldn't commit to selling such a vehicle in the United States, where it would compete with Ram trucks, but he said he is open to selling it in foreign markets.

-- There likely will be only one version of the next generation of minivans. Chrysler will drop either the Dodge Grand Caravan or the Chrysler Town & Country. Whichever brand doesn't get the traditional minivan will receive a "people mover" without the usual sliding doors, said Marchionne.

-- The future of the Dodge Nitro and the Jeep Liberty is not settled. "Give us 40 days to make a decision," Marchionne said.

In a move to boost fuel economy, 2013 Chrysler front-drive products will use a nine-speed automatic transmission. There also will be an eight-speed automatic transmission in select rear-drive vehicles, including the new 2013 Chrysler 300 hybrid and the Dodge Charger.

By David Arnouts